The Discovery Channel has had some pretty pathetic shows over the years. I mean...there's an awful lot of fake garbage, which is pretty sad considering that the channel is all about discovering things about the world and life. I never thought that one of the things we would discover would be just a ton of BS...and how much people love to lie about the world. But at least we learn about it, I guess.
Either way, Discovery has also had its fair share of good shows with at least some glimmer of truth to them. When the channel first started, it really did have some great content. And now that there has been new management over the past few years, good shows with some truth have been making their way back on the air.
It's unlikely that people will ever forget that Shark Week special about the megalodon though. That prehistoric shark that dwarfs the great white shark who people still believe exists. And that one guy never got eaten by a giant snake. But hey, at least Discovery managed to have Les Stroud and Survivorman. Sure, now Stroud hunts Big Foot like a moron, but Survivorman was one of the best examples of reality on tv.
16 Fake - Gold Rush
I think this show is about 200 years too late. The gold rush was mainly happening in the 1800's and I think pretty well everyone knows that. At least in North America anyway. There are some exceptions, but not that many. And even though there is still gold at the Klondike, the show is just overwhelmingly dramatic. And I mean dramatic to the point where they will reshoot certain scenes to add or play with lines for the "real" people in the show. Just so they can get their tv gold, even if they don't manage to get real gold. They purposely set out to make heroes and villains in the show. And perhaps the biggest bit of bullsh*t in the show is that the miners get paid by the producers. That's not necessarily bad. At least they get paid if they don't find gold. But the showrunners swear that the miners don't get paid by the show at all.
15 Real - How It's Made
This is probably one of the coolest shows on tv in general, never mind just on the Discovery Channel. And what's great about how honest this show is is that the entire premise of the show is included in the title. How It's Made is just an awesome show. And they don't make stuff up. They actually just show how things are made. And the things that they cover is just a massive list of cool! It goes from tin foil to trucks. From hearing aids to kayaks. And they don't just show how modern-day things are made. They show how some pretty old school stuff is made too. They show how horse-drawn carriages are made! That's an episode that would be great for the Amish to watch...you know if they watched tv and gave a sh*t about how cool we normal people think that is.
14 Fake - A Haunting
Alright, you actually don't need to know anything about this show to know that it is complete bullsh*t. It's basically just a collection of ghost stories. Except, instead of just promoting them as cool ghost stories that people have made up, they actually present them as something real. They have people talking about how they know someone who has experienced the ghosts they've been talking about. Or they interview people who have seen the ghosts first hand. I don't want to say that these people are just lying...so, I'll say that they're either lying or they are completely delusional. Why? Because ghosts don't exist. Ghost stories exist. Ghost Recon exists...ghosting exists...the movie Ghost exists. But come on, ghosts don't actually exist. Grow up Discovery Channel. It should be about discovery, not about ratings.
13 Real - Fast'N'Loud
Here's the reason why Fast'N'Loud is so plainly a truthful show on the Discovery Channel. There's not much that they can fake. They could maybe fake how they find the cars that they play with, but the premise of the show is so bloody simple that it's pointless to think that there's anything really deceitful with the creation of the show. All it is is two guys and their crew hunting down cars that have been really sh*t-beaten...and then what do they do to them? They restore them. It's not an overly exciting show, but it's been very popular among the male viewership of the Discovery Channel. To add some zest to the show, they do some skits throughout each episode that sort of go along with the theme of the episode, but otherwise, there is not much to try and fake.
12 Fake - Eaten Alive
This is probably one of the biggest screw ups that the Discovery Channel has ever done. Do you recall the segment called Eaten Alive? Well, there was a huge ad campaign all about how you were going to be able to see an anaconda eating a human being whole. True, the guy was going to be in safety gear and I guess they were planning on saving the guy which is good. It's still strange that so many people tuned in to see a human being eaten by a giant snake, but I guess we're a pretty messed up species. Either way, the guy manages to piss off the anaconda enough that it attacks him, but it certainly doesn't even try to eat him. What does it do? It just wraps around him, bites at him, and then tries to squeeze him to death...that's it. Talk about false advertising.
11 Real - Mythbusters
I don't care who you are, but Mythbusters is probably one of, if not the most realistic show that has ever graced the Discovery Channel. Sure, sometimes fans of the show write in to let Jamie and Adam know that they did something that wasn't scientifically sound. But, the great thing about these guys is that they will do a revisit episode at the end of a season to go back over certain myths and the experiments they did in order to take on the challenges they've received from fans. They don't shy away from times where they screw up the science of debunking a myth. They can't shoot everything in real time because of the length of some of the experiments, but they definitely do report the honest results and they definitely show their failures often. And then they blow things up.
10 Fake - Shark Week Megalodon Special
This is perhaps one of the most famous and dumbest specials to have ever aired on the Discovery Channel. I mean, the whole special was all about this gigantic prehistoric shark that still lives somewhere in the deep and can thrash apart a great white without any trouble. Sure, the megalodon may have existed back in the day with the dinosaurs but there's no way it could survive today. If it could basically swallow a great white whole, we would know about it. Shark Week is probably one of the coolest times of year on Discovery, but the fact that they tried to pass this bullsh*t special by people is just kind of insulting. I know there are some stupid people out there, but come on...they weren't watching Discovery to begin with.
9 Real - River Monsters
People might think that Jeremy Wade is a bit ridiculous. They might think that he shouldn't be capturing endangered creatures from the waters of the world. They might think he's messing with the editing to make things look a little more dramatic (and that last one is likely fair enough). Here's the thing though...Jeremy Wade is actually a conservationist. He really does take great care of the creatures he catches. And the interesting thing that people probably forget because of how crazy each of the creatures looks when he reels them in, is that he is catching them to show the locals and people around the world that these are actually not real "monsters". They are just fish that have perhaps caused a decent amount of damage to people in the area. They're not mythical.
8 Fake - Alaskan Bush People
This show just makes me laugh. It's pretty pathetic actually. The very first thing that is fairly fake is the fact that these guys aren't actually from Alaska like they might want you to think. Daddy Bush People is actually from Texas, and so are several, if not all of the kids. That's pretty damning right there. Then there are things like hiring someone to be a girlfriend to one of the boys in the family...or hiring someone under the guise of a dating show to get her to talk to one of the boys on the phone for an episode. It's pretty sad that they have to fake relationships to get the ratings to keep going. Not to mention the bullsh*t about the government burning down their cabin. The only real things in that show? One son almost blowing himself up and then going to rehab, and the mother having lung cancer.
7 Real - Deadliest Catch
Deadliest Catch is one crazy show! Sure, there are some things that are fake and worth pointing out here. The crews only follow six of about 80 different boats. And sure, they definitely push it to get more drama than there would typically be during the regular fishing season, but that doesn't mean there isn't a lot of truth in the show. The cameramen who stay with the boats are not given any comfort at all. They are left to be thrown around on the seas just like the crew members on the vessel. And the danger of being thrown into the ocean, or having a stroke in the captain's chair, or being caught up in the pulley lines are very real and indeed things that are shown throughout the show. There are some deceiving shots and scenes, but that doesn't mean the job isn't actually deadly.
6 Fake - Man VS Wild
Ok, I'm sorry if I offend anyone here...well, not really, but I feel obligated to say it. Bear Grylls is a pretty intense guy. He does eat live scorpions and jump from cliffs into white water, and he does put his life on the line when he's shooting a lot of his segments...but he also does bugger off at the end of a shoot day and go back to a hotel to rest up for the next day's stunt. He's a very intense stuntman, but he's not a survivalist. That's just the reality of the situation. If you were to follow what Grylls did in order to survive any given situation, you would end up running out of steam pretty damn quickly. Or you'd end up freezing because you've jumped into a cold rushing river and didn't learn how to dry out your clothes before turning into a block of ice at night.
5 Real - Survivor Man
Les Stroud is the man. Or was anyway. He was Survivorman. That show was the best example of really cool survival tips and tricks while showing the exhaustion and mental strain that being lost alone in the woods could beat out of someone. And Stroud would be even more exhausted because he filmed pretty well the entire show by himself. So he would have to travel away from a camera for a great wide shot...and then walk all the way back to get the camera before heading back out in the direction he originally wanted to go. That's nuts. So, if you're wondering about exhaustion in a survival situation, you're already doing better than Stroud. Either way, he really teaches about conserving energy, working smartly, and being aware of your surroundings. He was the real deal before hunting for Big Foot.
4 Fake - Street Outlaws
This show is just stupid, first of all. All the show is about is drag racing. And the funny thing about this show is that they're not actually drag racing at all. Sure, they definitely do some street racing and it's definitely illegal, but they seem to think that because they are driving fast in a town or city that they are drag racing. For those who don't know, drag racing requires a set straight strip for the cars to race along. The whole point is to find out who has the fastest car, not necessarily the best driving skill going around obstacles. So, even before you get into the amount of editing they do in the show to make things more dramatic, the show is already complete bullsh*t because they are not even doing the one thing that the show is based around. What a waste of time.
3 Real - Dirty Jobs
I feel very bad for Mike Rowe. Why? Because the dirty jobs he works from episode to episode are just awful. Remember that bullsh*t Shark Week segment about the Megalodon and how it's still causing chaos all through the oceans of the world? Well, Rowe did a shark-related episode of Dirty Jobs that included jobs like shark repellent tester, and shark suit tester. That's pretty intense. And he actually jumped in with the sharks to test these products. Scary sh*t. There were even segments that were actually shot that just couldn't be released because of how dirty they were. Like skull-cleaning, body farming, and even skinning dead raccoons for artwork. That's some messed up sh*t. And these are things he did...and they didn't even make the final cut. That's so depressing. But at least it's true!
2 Fake - Naked And Afraid
First of all, the producers of this show like to say that the contestants don't get paid any sort of prize. It's all about just being able to say that you've completed the 21-day challenge. That being said, if you make it that long, you definitely do get paid a decent amount. Now, contestants can tap out and give up at any time, but what you don't know is that the crew gets involved more than you think they do. Sometimes contestants steal from the crew in order to eat or enjoy a drink. Other times, when getting sick from eating something in nature, contestants are taken care of by the crew off cam to keep the show going. That includes being fed and given an IV drip. If this show about survival is going to keep contestants going by helping them off camera, then I think it's clear that they just care about ratings and not the reality of the experience we think we're watching.
1 Real - Yukon Men
Here's the thing that's awesome about Yukon Men. Sure, it's advertised as an unscripted show (and I'm sure that some moments are at least a little manipulated), but the people followed in this show are actually working their a**es off to survive along the Yukon River. It's hard enough to live up north. But living up north off of nothing but hunting, fishing, and creating good to sell is just ridiculous. I get being a doctor up there. But I think people forget that there are whole communities up there of people who need that doctor. And what do they do? They live off the land, and whatever they could possibly get brought into their communities. This show is essentially a documentary series more than a "reality tv" show.
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